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Enlightenment in the City of Light

Posted By Elena Brower On October 7, 2011 @ 4:20 pm In Eco Travel, Yoga | 3 Comments

White Yoga Session, Paris [1]

Traveling comes with its own distinct set of trials and truths. If yoga [2] is a practice of equanimity in the face of constant change, that evenness takes on new meaning when we’re far from home [3].

On October 2, 2011, I led a class of 3,000 yogis, all in white, on the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower’s Wall for Peace [4] to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

Whether I’m lost, found, late, early, confused or completely uplifted, Paris offers me lessons on Light — on being light, on absorbing light, on offering light. I’ve been teaching there twice a year for seven years, and my dream of teaching a class about the Light of True Gratitude and Peace in front of the Eiffel Tower has finally come true.

With this photo essay, I honor my beloved city of Light, Paris.

Broken Heart Cloud [5]

Paris breaks my heart open every time; of course this broken heart [6] cloud was in the sky as I arrived there a few days ago.

Freesias for Mama [7]

These freesias and this entire magical vision of white flowers are definitely meant for my mama right now. Love you, Mimi.

First View of the Eiffel Tower [8]

Walking with Marc Holzman, one of a handful of American teachers who’ve moved to Paris, I feasted my eyes on La Tour Eiffel for the first time during this trip, along with the crisscrossing cloud lines and again, that Light!

Room with an Inner View [9]

My apartment this weekend was prepared by Sandra C., a true angel in Paris, who arranged these and many more flowers all over the house. Upon arrival I placed my crystals, an offering of fruit and a favorite new book, Be Love Now [10] by Ram Dass [11], to create a little puja [12]. Within moments, bien sur, the Light came in through the window.

Open Hearts and Perfect Alignment [13]

The Anusara® instruction in this city for the past seven years is unparalleled. Here is a collection of gorgeous students from France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the States — all so strong, with meticulously clear alignment and super soft hearts.

The Lovers [14]

The Lovers — perfect example of what Paris does to folks. Look at the Light in the Love!

People of Paris [15]

These are the people who greeted me and lit me up: Clockwise, from left: Marc Holzman of Guerilla Yogi [16] teaches worldwide and on Yogaglo; David Newbery and his beloved Uma of Geneva Switzerland, masters of Light, Love, Art, Indian Cuisine and Yoga; Anne Vandewalle of Yoga Planete [17] in Paris who created the Anusara community in Paris seven years ago and continues to sustain it; Kai Hill (left), new owner of City Yoga Berlin [18], with Andrea Boni (right), one of the top Anusara and Siddha Yoga translators and my new Italian soul brother.

Prayers and Light [19]

Les prieres. La lumiere. Enough said.

Night in Paris [20]

The night in Paris is still illuminated. This photo came out looking like a painting; I’m now creating a large-scale rendering of it for my new home.

The Peace Wall [21]

This is the “Peace” wall that overlooks the Champ de Mars, where we held the White Yoga Session [22].

White Yoga Session, Paris [23]

The class. We honored Mahatma Gandhi’s [24] birth and work that day, recognizing with gratitude the millions of interactions and relationships that have been impacted by his commitment to peace, truth and freedom. Magique.

Rodney Yee [25], one of my first and still favorite teachers, once taught the concept of ahimsa as a quality of complete integration, of cohesiveness; more than simply non-violence, ahimsa is a feeling of coherence both within ourselves, and around us. Vanda Scaravelli implored her students to “Be in adherence with the present moment.” 3,000 of us were in that delicate place of presence; we could feel gratitude [26] everywhere. We are lucky to have this practice.

Et Paris, je t’adore.

Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com

URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/enlightenment-in-the-city-of-light/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/White-Yoga-Session-Paris2.jpg

[2] yoga: http://life.gaiam.com/guides/yoga-answers-and-solutions-go-guide

[3] when we’re far from home: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/find-your-inner-yoga-teacher-2/

[4] Wall for Peace: http://www.wallforpeace.com/mur.html

[5] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Broken-Heart-Cloud1.jpg

[6] broken heart: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/hope-for-a-weathered-heart/

[7] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Freesias-for-Mama.jpg

[8] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/First-View-of-the-Eiffel-Tower1.jpg

[9] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Room-with-an-Inner-View1.jpg

[10] Be Love Now: http://life.gaiam.com/article/i-am-loving-awareness-how-love-yourself-and-world-around-you

[11] Ram Dass: http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/embracing-aging-change-and-dying-ram-dass-part-1?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day

[12] puja: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puja_%28Hinduism%29

[13] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Open-Hearts-and-Perfect-Alignment.jpg

[14] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/The-Lovers.jpg

[15] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/People-of-Paris.jpg

[16] Guerilla Yogi: http://www.guerillayogi.com/

[17] Yoga Planete: http://www.yogaplanete.com/English.html

[18] City Yoga Berlin: http://www.cityyoga.de/

[19] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Prayers-and-Light.jpg

[20] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Night-in-Paris.jpg

[21] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/The-Peace-Wall.jpg

[22] White Yoga Session: http://events.sportforus.com/white-yoga-session/?ln=en

[23] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/White-Yoga-Session-Paris3.jpg

[24] Mahatma Gandhi’s: http://blog.gaiam.com/quotes/authors/gandhi

[25] Rodney Yee: http://www.gaiamtv.com/search/node/rodney%20yee?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day

[26] gratitude: http://life.gaiam.com/article/4-ways-express-gratitude-every-day

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